Parker Jacobs’ Editor’s Note


Parker Jacobs ’17

The Oracle at Woodberry Forest interests me because I thought it was dead after my sophomore year. There were no longer printed newspapers being distributed to every dorm and classroom. Fortunately, Caleb Rogers along with faculty member Gregory Guldin heroically staved off the demise of The Oracle before it became a forgotten memory. Not only did they bring it back, they completely reimagined how it would deliver information to the Woodberry community. They believed that it was time to digitalize The Oracle by moving it online and allowing the articles to be seen by the students, parents, alumni, and anyone with a computer or electronic device. They no longer wanted to have the school newspaper be printed and distributed but instead were able to set up a website to showcase the students’ articles, stories, and interviews. Prior to his graduation, I was able to talk with Caleb about what he wanted to do with the online newspaper.  He said that he wanted it to become more popular and more available around and beyond campus, most notably to alumni. Caleb was ambitious about getting stories for the newspaper by emailing and asking anyone  willing to write an article on whatever they wanted. He revamped the paper, starting with zero writers helping him but, by the end of the year, he had more than a dozen guys writing and editing articles. He wants the newspaper to become a part of the school like it was many years before. Though he knew he would be graduating in less than a year, he was able to make tremendous headway popularizing The Oracle. He had almost one thousand readers view the final article released and over the course of the year reached almost five thousand readers total.  This represents, in my opinion, outstanding work by both Caleb and Mr. Guldin.

Despite the success of the first year online, The Oracle is not anywhere near its maximum potential. This year, the head of The Oracle will no longer be one person, like it was last year, but three; each person will take charge of a different or new aspect of the online newspaper. Ben Lytle will assume the position of Editor-in-Chief which is most similar to Caleb’s position last year. He will be reaching out to students to write articles on current Woodberry events or stories about which they are passionate . Patrick Scruggs will be the Visual Editor and will be taking on the challenge of expanding the social reach of The Oracle; being able to spread articles through Facebook and Twitter and creating other ways to popularize the online publication. I will be dealing with a new aspect of The Oracle. I take on the challenge of creating and distributing the new “Weekly Toilet Paper”. This will not be online for alumni/parents to read, but will be something for the students of Woodberry Forest to enjoy while using the rest room. The paper will be put in every stall across campus and will contain information such as the weekly scores of athletics, current events that are taking place outside of the school, and other local events that not everyone hears about. What I hope occurs in The Oracle during my time is for it to contain more than just popular events such as The Bonfire or The Game. I hope that it will have a greater variety of stories and interviews that students, teachers, and alumni will be eager to read.

Along with the help of Mr. Guldin; Ben, Patrick, and I are each looking forward to continuing to keep up the success that Caleb started last year. Though the process will be difficult, we are excited to carry it on and look forward to see The Oracle flourish.

Categories: Today